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  1. #1
    AIZ's Avatar
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    No international definition for TERRORISM

    60 years after the establishment of the United Nations, the international community is still unable to come to a consensus to define what terrorism is. I just participated in an interesting lecture on Terror and the UN. I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

  2. #2
    CAUSASIAN's Avatar
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    Terrorism is the killing of civilians, either by mistake or on purpose.

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    Intentionaly hurting and killing civilians as a political/religious message would be the definition in my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johan
    Intentionaly hurting and killing civilians as a political/religious message would be the definition in my mind.

    I agree with this definition.

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    Believe it or not, the UN will condemn specific terror attacks without defining terrorism. This is as close as the UN has gotten so far. If you pay attention to the two quotes you'll see how they condemn terror but how they won't define terror.

    “…terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security…”.
    “…any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed and are to be unequivocally condemned, especially when they indiscriminately target or injure civilians…”

    According to Resolution 1373, all nations must fight terrorism. However, even after this resolution was passed, the UN still hadn't defined terror although they passed a resolution, which clearly calls for all nations to fight it

  6. #6
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    According to one of the leading academics in the field of counter-terrorism, Dr. Boaz Ganor states:

    "The question is whether it is at all possible to arrive at an exhaustive and objective definition of terrorism, which could constitute an accepted and agreed-upon foundation for academic research, as well as facilitating operations on an international scale against the perpetrators of terrorist activities.

    The definition proposed here states that terrorism is the intentional use of, or threat to use violence against civilians or against civilian targets, in order to attain political aims.

    This definition is based on three important elements:

    1. The essence of the activity—the use of, or threat to use, violence. According to this definition, an activity that does not involve violence or a threat of violence will not be defined as terrorism (including non-violent protest—strikes, peaceful demonstrations, tax revolts, etc.).

    2. The aim of the activity is always political—namely, the goal is to attain political objectives; changing the regime, changing the people in power, changing social or economic policies, etc. In the absence of a political aim, the activity in questwill not be defined as terrorism. A violent activity against civilians that has no political aim is, at most, an act of criminal delinquency, a felony, or simply an act of insanity unrelated to terrorism. Some scholars tend to add ideological or religious aims to the list of political aims. The advantage of this definition, however, is that it is as short and exhaustive as possible. The concept of “political aim” is sufficiently broad to include these goals as well. The motivation—whether ideological, religious, or something else—behind the political objective is irrelevant for the purpose of defining terrorism. In this context, the following statement by Duvall and Stohl deserves mention:

    Motives are entirely irrelevant to the concept of political terrorism. Most analysts fail to recognize this and, hence, tend to discuss certain motives as logical or necessary aspects of terrorism. But they are not. At best, they are empirical regularities associated with terrorism. More often they simply confuse analysis.[14]

    3. The targets of terrorism are civilians. Terrorism is thus distinguished from other types of political violence (guerrilla warfare, civil insurrection, etc.). Terrorism exploits the relative vulnerability of the civilian “underbelly”—the tremendous anxiety, and the intense media reaction evoked by attacks against civilian targets. The proposed definition emphasizes that terrorism is not the result of an accidental injury inflicted on a civilian or a group of civilians who stumbled into an area of violent political activity, but stresses that this is an act purposely directed against civilians. Hence, the term “terrorism” should not be ascribed to collateral damage to civilians used as human shields or to cover military activity or installations, if such damage is incurred in an attack originally aimed against a military target. In this case, the responsibility for civilian casualties is incumbent upon whoever used them as shields.

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    I dont buy the "intentionally" part.

    If someone killed me with a bomb by mistake it is still terrorism to me and my family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    I dont buy the "intentionally" part.

    If someone killed me with a bomb by mistake it is still terrorism to me and my family.

    I understand that regardless if the act was intentional or not, that the families of the dead will be devastated.

    However there is defiantly a big difference between accidentally killing innocent civilians, and intentionally targeting civilians.

    Main Entry: 1in•tent
    Pronunciation: in-'tent
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English entent, from Old French, from Late Latin intentus, from Latin, act of stretching out, from intendere
    1 a : the act or fact of intending : PURPOSE; especially : the design or purpose to commit a wrongful or criminal act <admitted wounding him with intent> b : the state of mind with which an act is done : VOLITION
    2 : a usually clearly formulated or planned intention : AIM

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigen12
    I understand that regardless if the act was intentional or not, that the families of the dead will be devastated.

    However there is defiantly a big difference between accidentally killing innocent civilians, and intentionally targeting civilians.
    Ok, so when Abu Musab said the he didnt mean to kill Muslims in the Jordan Bombing attacks, but meant to attack Israeli and American spys and intelligence officers. Was his act terrorism?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    I dont buy the "intentionally" part.

    If someone killed me with a bomb by mistake it is still terrorism to me and my family.
    the difference imo would be like the difference in accidently kill someone while driving around in town or intentionaly run someone over. The family will grief just as much in both cases. But the intentions is what separates the accident from the intentioned crime.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    Ok, so when Abu Musab said the he didnt mean to kill Muslims in the Jordan Bombing attacks, but meant to attack Israeli and American spys and intelligence officers. Was his act terrorism?
    I see what you are doing, trying the end around on me aren’t ya….

    First I don’t believe that was his intent, just look at what he is doing in Iraq.

    If his true intention was to only kill Israeli and American spies and intelligence officers, then I think not.

    However when you send people into a crowded hotel where you know you will kill many innocent civilians that makes me lean toward calling that terrorism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigen12
    However when you send people into a crowded hotel where you know you will kill many innocent civilians that makes me lean toward calling that terrorism.
    That is exactly what I was doing.

    But when you also throw Mother of all bombs in highly dense civlian areas and civilian buildings, you must also know innocent civilians will die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    That is exactly what I was doing.

    But when you also throw Mother of all bombs in highly dense civlian areas and civilian buildings, you must also know innocent civilians will die.

    I understand your argument, and agree with it to an extent.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
    That is exactly what I was doing.

    But when you also throw Mother of all bombs in highly dense civlian areas and civilian buildings, you must also know innocent civilians will die.
    When Israel dropped a one-ton bomb on an apartment in Gaza City, I was ardently against that. I still am to this day. At the same time, I am also against terrorists purposefully living amongst civilians. They are also responsible.

  15. #15
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    The official terrorism description used in the world is the one by the FBI who is considered as the most correct

  16. #16
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    now terrorism is the attack against USA or its allies even if its a pure military attack against military targets,period.

  17. #17
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    Right now the biggest terrorist is Bush and Cheney.........overthrew a government based on lies.........completely destabilized a country opening it to a flood of radicals
    we should be ashamed of what we have done to Iraq..........thanks to "the WAR president"..........our little gay sadist

  18. #18
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    Why the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA) hasn't been classified as terrorist movement? I have been thinking about this for a while and never found an answer.

    Surprisingly, John Garang, the founder and ex-leader of the movement was a good friend of the American and western governments until he dead.

    What is the difference between SPLA and other groups like IRA, Hamas, Chechnyan fighters etc?

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